The Portsmouth gateway to history

Today this historic entrance to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is crossed by tens of thousands of tourists each year.

Monday, 16th January 2017, 6:00 am
LIGHT An ornamental wrought-iron arch complete with lamp once adorned Victory Gate. This picture is undated

Victory Gate, off The Hard, Portsea, is the gateway to Nelson’s Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose Museum.

Few of those visitors will pay much attention to the threshold which opens up to them the world’s greatest collection of maritime history.

Formerly the main pedestrian and vehicle entrance to the dockyard, it is constructed of Portland stone with golden ball finials.

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Victory Gate in 2005

Of course, there was a time when the powers-that-be would have been appalled at the thought of giving the public access to the dockyard.

It was the way into work and out again for thousands of workers.

The gate was widened in November 1943 to allow access for larger vehicles which rumbled into the ’yard virtually 24 hours a day during the Second World War.

Built between 1704 and 1711, Victory gate is listed grade 2*.

TOURISTS Once the soul domain of a huge dockyard workforce, today only visitors cross the cobbles between the golden balls of Victory Gate
GIANT When I first published this picture, shot from Highland Road and looking down Prince Albert Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, I asked if anyone could explain the apparent giant emerging above the old Royal Mail van. Thanks to Dave Quinton, all has now become clear... He says: The guy is standing in the back of a contractors lorry. Wessex road repairs and Tarmac contractors had yellow-bodied vehicles with black lettering and were around for many years and may even still be going.
Victory Gate in 2005
TOURISTS Once the soul domain of a huge dockyard workforce, today only visitors cross the cobbles between the golden balls of Victory Gate
GIANT When I first published this picture, shot from Highland Road and looking down Prince Albert Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, I asked if anyone could explain the apparent giant emerging above the old Royal Mail van. Thanks to Dave Quinton, all has now become clear... He says: The guy is standing in the back of a contractors lorry. Wessex road repairs and Tarmac contractors had yellow-bodied vehicles with black lettering and were around for many years and may even still be going.